How To Make Money Building Websites in 2023: 15 Brilliant Strategies

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If you’re wondering how to make money building websites, you’ve landed in the right place. One game-changing tip to kickstart your journey is to specialize early on.

Whether you focus on e-commerce, SEO services, or membership sites, carving out a niche can set you apart in a crowded marketplace.

This article discusses 15 lucrative ways to turn your web development skills into a thriving online business. From freelance web design to flipping websites, we’ve got you covered.

Each method comes with detailed descriptions, effective strategies, and practical product examples to help you hit the ground running. Let’s dive in!

Quick Takeaways:

  1. Specialize Early: Focusing on a niche like e-commerce, SEO, or membership sites sets you apart in a crowded marketplace.
  2. Freelance Web Design: A gateway to the world of web design contracts, offering the freedom to work from anywhere and scale your business.
  3. Sell Website Templates: Create templates once and sell them multiple times for a passive income stream.
  4. Subscription-based Web Development: A model that offers both initial and recurring income by providing website maintenance as a service.
  5. Flipping Websites: Buy underperforming websites, improve them, and sell them at a profit for substantial earnings.
  6. Building and Renting Websites: Create digital assets that can be rented out to local businesses for steady, recurring income.
  7. Web Hosting Affiliate: Recommend trusted web hosting services and earn a commission for each new customer sign-up.
  8. SEO Services: Offer an add-on service to optimize websites for search engines, increasing your value and income.
  9. E-commerce Solutions: An end-to-end solution for clients that involves building their online store from scratch.

What is Website Building?

Website building is the process of creating a web presence for individuals, brands, or businesses. It involves multiple aspects, including web design, web development, and potentially even e-commerce solutions.

Whether you’re making a simple one-page site or a complex online store, the objective is to create a platform that serves a specific need. Website builders and content management systems have made it easier than ever to build websites, even for those with minimal technical knowledge.

In the context of making money, website building can be a lucrative venture. You can offer specialized services like SEO, social media integration, or even website audits. This offers a golden opportunity to generate money-building websites, either as a side hustle or a full-time occupation.

The best part is, that you can adapt the work to fit your own schedule, providing flexibility while you make money online.

Understanding website building is crucial for any business. A five-page website might be ideal for local businesses who just want a web page, while more elaborate solutions involving custom websites and paid mobile-friendly themes are available for those looking to scale. Your website is essentially your portfolio in the digital realm, offering a first impression to potential clients.

1. Freelance Web Design

If you’re asking how to make money building websites, then starting as a freelance web designer is a golden opportunity. With the digital landscape expanding, businesses are in constant need of high-quality websites.

Platforms like Upwork or Freelancer can be your gateway to the world of web design contracts. The best part? You can work from anywhere and choose clients that align with your skill level.

Being a freelance web designer not only offers flexibility but also allows you to scale. As your portfolio grows, you’ll find it easier to negotiate higher rates and take on more ambitious projects. This model offers you the freedom to truly build a business that aligns with your lifestyle goals.

Freelancing is also a great option for those who enjoy variety in their work. One month, you could be working on a minimalist blog platform; the next, an e-commerce site teeming with features. The scope for making money building websites as a freelance web designer is broad and rewarding.

Strategies for Web Design Freelancing:

  • Portfolio Website: Create a professional website to showcase your past work. Use this as a resume when pitching to potential clients.
  • Skill Upgrading: Keep up-to-date with the latest web development trends and tools. Consider certificates to add credibility.
  • Networking: Leverage social media and industry events to network with potential clients and other web designers.

Tool recommendations:

  • Adobe XD: For designing user experiences.
  • Elementor: A WordPress website builder that simplifies the design process.
  • Codecademy’s Web Development Course: To sharpen your coding skills.
Freelance web design -how to make money building websites

2. Sell Website Templates

If you’re adept at building websites, selling website templates could be your ticket to making money online. Platforms like ThemeForest allow you to upload and sell your templates to a vast audience. The beauty of this model is that you design once but sell multiple times, generating a passive income stream.

Think about it as being a craftsman in the digital realm. Just like an artisan who sells crafted goods, you’re selling your web design creativity. This is especially useful if you prefer working on projects that you can control from start to finish.

Creating and selling website templates is a surefire way to leverage your web development skills to build a sustainable, income-generating machine. With this approach, you can focus on what you love—designing and building websites—while also earning money online.

Strategies for Selling Website Templates:

  • Niche Focus: Design templates for specific industries to reduce competition and target a dedicated audience.
  • SEO Optimization: Optimize the product listing for keywords related to your template to draw in more organic traffic.
  • Customer Support: Offer exceptional after-sales service to encourage positive reviews, which will boost sales.

Tool recommendations:

  • Sketch: For designing UI and UX.
  • WooCommerce: To integrate an online store into your templates.
  • SEO Yoast: To optimize your product listing for SEO.

3. Subscription-based Web Development

In the quest for how to make money building websites, offering a subscription-based web development service is a gem of an idea. In this model, you handle not just the initial web development but also ongoing maintenance and updates. It’s the gift that keeps on giving—both for you and your clients.

Consider this: businesses often lack the expertise to keep their website up-to-date and secure. This is where you come in. By providing a subscription-based service, you not only make money building websites initially but continue to earn through routine upkeep.

This approach helps you build a stable income stream while giving clients the peace of mind that their online asset is in good hands. It’s a win-win, and a compelling answer to the question of making money building websites.

Strategies for Subscription-based Web Development:

  • Package Deals: Offer different tiers of subscription services, like basic, intermediate, and advanced, to cater to various needs.
  • Automated Billing: Use automated billing software to manage subscriptions and payments.
  • Performance Reporting: Provide regular reports to clients showing the impact of your maintenance on their website’s performance.

Tool recommendations:

  • WP Rocket: For optimizing WordPress site speeds.
  • Sucuri Security: To offer website security services.
  • Stripe: For managing automated subscription billing.

4. Flipping Websites

The concept of flipping isn’t limited to real estate; it’s very much a part of how to make money building websites. Platforms like Flippa serve as marketplaces where you can buy low-performing or undervalued websites. Your role is similar to that of a home renovator: buy, improve, and sell at a higher price. It’s a model that thrives on your ability to spot potential and turn it into profit.

Imagine acquiring an existing website with quality content but poor web design. You can give it a makeover using your web design skills, improve its SEO, and boost its monetization strategies.

The objective is to increase its value for a profitable resale. With just a computer and internet connection, you can turn this into a lucrative web development business.

Web flipping can be both exciting and financially rewarding. Not only do you get to work on diverse projects, but the payoff for each flipped website can be substantial, making it an excellent way to make money building websites.

Strategies for Flipping Websites:

  • Research: Use tools to assess the health and potential of a website before buying.
  • Rapid Turnaround: Focus on quick but impactful changes, like speed optimization and UI improvements.
  • Effective Listing: When selling, create a compelling portfolio website for the project to attract potential clients.

Tool recommendations:

  • Flippa: A marketplace for buying and selling websites.
  • SEMrush: For website analytics and SEO assessment.
  • Cloudflare: For improving website speed and security.
Flipping Website

5. Building and Renting Websites

You can make money building websites even if you don’t want to sell your creations outright. Imagine creating custom websites for niche industries like local restaurants, gyms, or real estate agencies. Once the website is up and running, instead of handing it over, you rent it out to local businesses for a monthly fee.

Renting websites can be a steady source of income and could serve as the cornerstone of your web development business. You maintain control over the website and simply lease its benefits to others. It’s a win-win: local businesses get a turnkey website without the upfront costs, and you get reliable, recurring income.

Consider it a long-term investment strategy within the realm of website building. By taking the time to develop an appealing, functional website, you’re essentially creating a digital asset that you can rent out indefinitely.

Strategies for Building and Renting Websites:

  • Local SEO: Optimize the website for local searches to make it appealing to local businesses.
  • Value Proposition: Clearly articulate the benefits and features to potential clients.
  • Maintenance Package: Include regular updates and maintenance as part of the rental agreement.

Tool recommendations:

  • Google My Business: For optimizing local SEO.
  • WordPress: For creating the initial website quickly and efficiently.
  • PayPal Subscription: For managing monthly payments.

6. Web Hosting Affiliate

Affiliate marketing isn’t confined to retail products. Many web hosting companies offer lucrative affiliate programs. As a web developer who knows the ins and outs of hosting, this is a straightforward way to generate extra income. Your role is simple: recommend a web hosting service to potential clients or through your own website, and earn a commission for each customer who signs up through your referral link.

Think about it: you’re already engaged in creating e-commerce websites, blogs, and portfolio websites for clients. It’s not a stretch to include hosting as part of the package. And since every website needs hosting, your potential client base is enormous.

Web hosting affiliate programs can be a fantastic ancillary revenue stream, fitting seamlessly into your existing web design or development business model. It’s low-hanging fruit that can add significant income over time.

Strategies for Web Hosting Affiliates:

  • Trust and Credibility: Only recommend hosting services you’ve used and can vouch for.
  • Content Marketing: Write reviews or tutorials related to web hosting to attract potential clients.
  • Multi-Channel Promotion: Use email marketing, your own website, and social media to promote your affiliate links.

Tool recommendations:

  • Bluehost: Known for its high affiliate payouts.
  • WPX: Offers solid performance and customer service.
  • Mailchimp: For email marketing campaigns to promote your affiliate links.

7. SEO Services

Want to diversify your income while still focusing on how to make money by building websites? Offering SEO services could be your golden ticket. If you’re already engaged in web design or development, you’ve got the technical knowledge needed to branch into SEO.

The idea is simple: you’re not just creating visually stunning websites; you’re making them rank well on search engines too.

Businesses are continually searching for ways to increase their visibility online. A well-optimized web page can be a game-changer. By offering SEO as an add-on service, you can significantly boost your income while enhancing your clients’ websites. It’s a winning situation for everyone involved.

With the power to set your own schedule and pricing, this web design side hustle can generate more than just a few hundred dollars. Local businesses, in particular, are often willing to invest in these services to outperform competitors in local search results.

Strategies for offering SEO Services:

  • SEO Audits: Perform initial audits to identify SEO weak spots on a potential client’s website.
  • Keyword Research: Use this to tailor content, meta descriptions, and titles for optimized ranking.
  • Monthly Reports: Show clients the value you’re adding with regular SEO performance reports.

Tool recommendations:

  • Google Analytics: For tracking website traffic and user behavior.
  • Ahrefs: For keyword research and backlink analysis.
  • Yoast SEO: A WordPress plugin for easy on-page SEO optimization.

8. E-commerce Solutions

How about making money by helping others make money? Specializing in building e-commerce websites is like hitting two birds with one stone. You help your clients establish an online store while lining your own pockets. This could be the package deal that sets you apart: website development plus an online storefront setup.

You don’t have to be an e-commerce guru to get started. Basic graphic design skills and a working understanding of platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce can set you on the right path. From creating lead generation pages to designing the entire online store layout, this is an end-to-end solution.

It’s a fantastic way to capitalize on the online shopping trend. For those with entrepreneurial spirits and technical know-how, this could be your next big venture.

Strategies for E-commerce Solutions:

  • Package Deals: Offer a one-stop-shop solution that includes website development, an online store setup, and initial SEO.
  • Payment Plans: To attract small businesses, offer flexible payment options.
  • Upsell Opportunities: Offer add-on services like landing page design or email marketing setup.

Tool recommendations:

  • Shopify: For creating a robust online store.
  • Canva: For basic graphic design needs.
  • Mailchimp: For setting up email marketing campaigns.
e-commerce solutions - how to make money building websites

9. Online Courses and Workshops

If you’re good at what you do, why not teach it? Creating online courses or hosting workshops is a brilliant way to make money while setting your own schedule. This route allows you to leverage your skills, turning them into an educational product. The goal is to provide high-value content that empowers others to build their own sites.

Whether you’re teaching the basics or diving into complex topics like creating lead generation pages, there’s an audience for it. Unlike the project-to-project nature of client work, courses provide a passive income source. You put in the initial effort, and the returns keep coming in.

With just a computer, internet connection, and some LinkedIn marketing tools, you can start teaching others, making money, and adding another revenue stream to your portfolio.

Strategies for Online Courses and Workshops:

  • Curriculum Planning: Break down the course into manageable modules that take the learner from beginner to proficient.
  • Marketing: Use social media and LinkedIn as marketing tools to attract potential students.
  • Course Updates: Keep the course content updated to ensure it stays relevant and valuable.

Tool recommendations:

  • Teachable: For hosting your online courses.
  • LinkedIn Premium: For leveraging LinkedIn’s marketing tools.
  • Camtasia: For high-quality video editing for your course content.

10. Blogging with Ad Revenue

If you’ve got web design skills and a knack for writing, why not combine the two? Create a blog within your web development website and use it as a channel to make money through ads and sponsored content. It’s not just about web development; you can cover various topics that your target audience finds engaging.

The beauty of this model is that you can work at your own pace, steadily building up a web presence and increasing your potential for ad revenue. Platforms like WordPress make it even easier, offering a basic WordPress editor and paid mobile-friendly themes that can make your blog look professional in no time.

While this might not generate immediate cash flow, it’s a long-term strategy to make money by building websites. Over time, you’ll become an authority in your niche, attracting other web designers and developers to your content and generating ad revenue passively.

Strategies for Blogging with Ad Revenue:

  • Content Planning: Create a content calendar focusing on topics relevant to web development and design.
  • SEO Optimization: Make use of lead generation techniques and SEO to boost blog traffic.
  • Monetization: Use Google AdSense or other ad networks to start generating income.

Tool recommendations:

  • WordPress: One of the best website-building platforms for blogging.
  • Google AdSense: For monetizing your blog with ads.
  • Semrush: For SEO analysis and improving your blog’s reach.

11. Dropshipping Websites

Dropshipping is an e-commerce model where you don’t handle the products—someone else does. What you handle is the website. Web designers and developers with an entrepreneurial spirit can offer turnkey websites integrated with a dropshipping model. You create websites that are complete, from product pages to checkout systems.

Small businesses find this option attractive because it offers them a ready-to-launch platform. With your web design skills, you can build these custom websites and make money while helping others establish their online stores.

The best part? You can do all this from the comfort of your home, managing client sites at your own pace and growing your business steadily.

Strategies for Dropshipping Websites:

  • Market Research: Find profitable niches that have a demand for dropshipping websites.
  • Platform Selection: Choose reliable hosting services and website-building platforms that support dropshipping.
  • Client Outreach: Use social media and forums to find clients interested in dropshipping.

Tool recommendations:

  • Shopify: A popular platform for creating e-commerce and dropshipping websites.
  • Oberlo: A Shopify plugin that makes dropshipping easier.
  • WooCommerce: For those who prefer WordPress websites, WooCommerce is a flexible e-commerce solution.

12. Website Audits

Every website can benefit from a thorough audit, and who better to do it than someone who creates websites for a living? Web developers and designers can expand their service offerings by conducting comprehensive website audits. Examine performance, SEO, and security, then offer a detailed report with actionable suggestions.

This not only shows your expertise but can also serve as a gateway to upsell your other services. Maybe a small business comes for an audit and realizes they need a complete website overhaul—that’s where you come in.

Imagine earning money just for effectively identifying problems and suggesting solutions. It’s like being a website doctor, and the market for this service is continuously growing.

Strategies for Website Audits:

  • Auditing Tools: Use professional tools to conduct thorough audits.
  • Client Communication: Provide easy-to-understand reports and be available for consultations.
  • Upsell: Use the audit to identify opportunities for upselling other services like SEO or full web redesigns.

Tool recommendations:

  • GTmetrix: For performance audits.
  • Semrush: For SEO audits.
  • Sucuri: For security audits of WordPress websites.
Website Audits

13. Plugin Development

If you’re a web developer with a knack for coding, plugin development can be a goldmine. WordPress remains the most popular content management system (CMS) out there, and businesses are always on the lookout for plugins that can make their websites more functional or attractive. You could develop plugins that focus on e-commerce, SEO, or even lead-generation pages.

The brilliant aspect of plugin development is that you do the hard work once and then sell the plugin multiple times. Depending on the utility and popularity, you can offer your plugins either for a one-time fee or a recurring monthly fee. So, this is an avenue for making steady money building websites without having to start from scratch each time.

Final thoughts? Building websites with a focus on plugin development offers a unique way to generate a continuous income stream.

Strategies for Plugin Development:

  • Market Research: Find out which plugins are in high demand in the WordPress ecosystem.
  • Monetization Plan: Decide whether to offer your plugin for a one-time purchase or on a subscription basis.
  • Promotion: Use affiliate links and social media to promote online.

Tool recommendations:

  • WooCommerce: For creating e-commerce website plugins.
  • Elementor: A site builder that allows you to create your plugins.
  • AffiliateWP: If you decide to use an affiliate program to promote your plugin.

14. Social Media Integration Services

In today’s digital landscape, a website alone isn’t enough. Many local businesses are keen on integrating their social media platforms to their existing sites for better lead generation and client engagement.

Here’s where you come in: offer a package that combines website building with comprehensive social media integration.

By including this service, you’re not just a web developer but a full-scope digital presence creator. Businesses will be more inclined to pay a higher upfront cost for a package deal that solves multiple problems at once.

From landing pages that share directly to Facebook to simple one-page sites that incorporate real-time Twitter feeds, your services can help businesses create a truly cohesive online presence.

Strategies for Social Media Integration Services:

  • Package Deals: Bundle social media integration with other services like site building or e-commerce setup.
  • Client Outreach: Use your network and social platforms to find clients who need these specific services.
  • Upfront Pricing: Make sure to clearly communicate the upfront costs to avoid misunderstandings later.

Tool recommendations:

  • Hootsuite: For managing and scheduling social media posts.
  • WordPress Social Login: For allowing social media logins on a website.
  • Monarch: A social sharing plugin for WordPress.

15. Membership Sites

Membership sites have become a robust model for making money online. They are especially lucrative if you focus on niche markets that crave specialized knowledge or community interaction.

Whether it’s a site offering premium educational content or industry-specific resources, a membership site can provide a steady monthly income.

You can build these sites using popular content management systems and offer various membership tiers. The value here is in the content and community, and many businesses are willing to pay a monthly fee for access to specialized resources.

So, if you’re into building e-commerce websites, why not branch out into the world of membership sites? They are an excellent vehicle for long-term, stable income.

Strategies for Membership Sites:

  • Content Planning: Before building, decide on the kind of content you’ll offer and how often it will be updated.
  • Payment Gateways: Choose a secure and reliable way to handle monthly subscription fees.
  • Promotion: Use lead generation pages and social media to promote your membership site.

Tool recommendations:

  • MemberPress: A WordPress plugin specifically for creating membership sites.
  • Stripe: For handling subscription payments securely.
  • OptimizePress: For creating lead generation pages within your membership site.
Membership sites- how to make money building websites

How To Make Money Building Websites: Summary

The digital landscape is an ever-changing playground ripe with opportunities for those who know how to navigate it. One of the most exciting and financially rewarding paths is knowing how to make money by building websites.

From freelance web design to developing specialized plugins, the scope for generating income is as expansive as it is diverse. But, success doesn’t come without its set of challenges.

Whether you choose to specialize in creating e-commerce platforms or opt for subscription-based web development, staying updated and continuously honing your skills is non-negotiable for long-term profitability.

If you’re a budding or established entrepreneur eager to explore more avenues for income, we invite you to venture further, such as;

Our blog is teeming with entrepreneurial insights and money-making ideas designed to guide you toward a fulfilling and financially secure future.

Don’t wait; the path to your next big venture could be just a click away.

How To Make Money Building Websites: FAQs

How much money can you make designing websites?

The amount of money you can make as a web designer varies widely depending on factors like location, experience, and the types of clients you serve. Freelancers can make anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a simple landing page to several thousand for a complex e-commerce website. If you’re good at making money building websites, you can easily create packages for local businesses or other potential clients.

Do website developers make good money?

Yes, web development can be a lucrative career path. Salaries for web developers can range from moderate to very high, depending on their technical knowledge, experience, and specialization. Web developers who offer turnkey websites, focus on creating lead generation pages, or specialize in custom websites often make more money online.

Is Web Design still profitable?

Absolutely, web design remains a profitable venture. The demand for mobile-friendly themes, content management systems, and custom solutions is high. Businesses are always looking for web designers to improve their web presence, especially with the growing importance of e-commerce websites. As a web designer, you can offer various services and work on your own schedule, thus making web design a good job for many.

Is website building a good job?

Website building is an excellent job for those who have the right skill set. You’ll need a strong grasp of web design, web development, and some basic graphic design skills. A computer and internet connection are essential, but the upfront costs are generally low. This field allows you to work at your own pace, making it a popular choice for those looking to build a web development business.

What do I need to start my own website design business?

To launch your own web design side hustle, you’ll need a portfolio website showcasing your previous work, technical skills in web development, and a way to find clients—LinkedIn can be a powerful marketing tool. Make sure you’re familiar with popular content management systems like WordPress, as most clients prefer such platforms.

How can I find clients for my web design business?

Networking is key to finding clients. Local business events, social media platforms, and freelancer websites are good starting points. A strong web presence, including an existing website showcasing your work, will also attract potential clients.

Are e-commerce websites a good niche for web developers?

Yes, focusing on creating e-commerce websites is a lucrative niche. E-commerce is growing exponentially, and businesses are always looking for web developers who can create secure, fast, and user-friendly online stores.

Can I make money building websites on a part-time basis?

Certainly, building websites part-time can also be profitable. It’s a flexible job that you can tailor to fit your own schedule, making it an excellent web design side hustle. If you’re efficient, even working part-time can earn you a decent income.

What are the upfront costs of becoming a web designer?

Generally, the upfront costs are minimal. You’ll need a computer, an internet connection, and potentially some paid software for web design. Learning resources might add to the cost, but there are also free tutorials to get you started.

How can I make my web design business stand out?

To stand out, specialize in a specific area like landing pages, offer complete website packages including hosting services, or focus on a specific industry. Providing value-added services like SEO and social media integration can also set you apart from other web designers.

What tools do I need for web development?

For web development, you’ll need a code editor, graphic design software, and a local development environment. Familiarity with basic WordPress editors and other website-building platforms will also be beneficial.

How can I scale my web design business?

Scaling your web design business involves hiring other web designers or developers, offering new services like SEO or website audits, and potentially going from serving small businesses to larger enterprises. Effective promotion online and through local businesses can also attract more clients.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊

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